February 22nd, 2008
02:32 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton faces claims of borrowed language

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/02/22/art.billcopy0222.gi.jpg caption="Since her campaign leveled allegations of copying at Sen. Obama, observers have pointed out similarity between some of Sen. Clinton's language and that of her husband."]
(CNN) - Hillary Clinton – whose campaign has spent the past several days pointing to instances of borrowed language in the speeches of rival Barack Obama – is being accused of lifting words from one very familiar politician: her own husband, former President Bill Clinton.

During Thursday night’s CNN Democratic debate, Clinton looked to highlight occasions when lines used by Obama have resembled those delivered by his friend and adviser, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

Clinton’s closing answer, which brought the audience to its feet, highlighted her personal struggles and the difficulties facing ordinary Americans: "You know, the hits I’ve taken in life are nothing compared to what goes on every single day in the lives of people across our country."

Shortly after she delivered her closing remark, a reader of Joshua Micah Marshall’s Talking Points Memo Web site noted that the line seemed to bear a resemblance to one her husband was quoted as delivering during his 1992 campaign.

"The hits that I took in this election are nothing compared to the hits the people of this state and this country have been taking for a long time," her husband was quoted as saying in an article by Anna Quindlen in the New York Times in that November of that year.

Last night, Hillary Clinton also said: “You know, whatever happens, we're going to be fine. You know, we have strong support from our families and our friends. I just hope that we'll be able to say the same thing about the American people. And that's what this election should be about.”

The Obama campaign immediately began circulating a similar comment delivered by former presidential candidate John Edwards. “What's not at stake are any of us. All of us are going to be just fine no matter what happens in this election. But what's at stake is whether America is going to be fine,” Edwards said during a December debate in Iowa.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (384 Responses)
  1. Steve, Austin, Texas


    Obama is the fence called "change" that Clintock keeps running into...she will fail to overcome his momentum. Let's face it folks, Clintock is done. Obama 08!

    February 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Chris_in_TX

    I think it is "silly" of Hillary to attack Obama on the plagarizing issue. Obama's response last night made her look ignorant. However, the Obama camp, instead of letting this go and letting Hillary slit her own wrist, lowers themselves and jumps on the plagarizing bandwagon. Unfortunately for us, they both look like hypocrites now! That is the sad part because I, like most americans, like the both of them.

    February 22, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Di

    Obama hasn't done anything notable and he never will. Maybe he will build a new school in Africa for Ophra with our tax dollars!!

    Go Hillary!!!

    Down with fake Obama!!!!!!!!!

    February 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  4. Randy

    I like the solutions you can Xerox.

    Clinton began this and now is looking hypocritical. It is the reason she is losing.

    People say they want to discuss the issues but really few want to roll up their sleeves and put together a detailed spreadsheet of the two candidates positions and make an educated decision issue by issue. That would be too hard......

    February 22, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  5. Maxine Alexander

    Hillary sings SOLO.
    "I did....I did.... I did
    Next solo:
    I will....I will....I will
    Does she know the song,"WE WILL"?

    February 22, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. It's all politics

    Oh and Hillary did not get a standing ovation. It was the conclusion of the debate. The audience was standing to salute both candidates because it was over. They also gave a standing ovation at the inrermission of the debate about 45min into it.

    February 22, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Kyle

    Just what we were all hoping for. Well, your face is the one that...shut up....you're ugly. My dad can beat up your dad. You smell. You got that line from someone else. I'm telling on you.

    Good to see this is what our political process has come to.

    Stewart/Colbert '08

    February 22, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Tigga

    This is exactly what I have always said about Hillary. Right there in the debate she accused Obama of lifting words from Deval Patrick and her closing remarks where not even her own words.
    Arrant desperation by the clinton's once again to do whatever, put up a fake emotion and say whatever to get elected. You just can't trust this woman.

    February 22, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Laura

    Obama is the MAN! Hillary is just desperate. She is going to lose TX and OH. She knows it. Her husband knows it. She is done!

    February 22, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Rebecca

    I guess it is all about words, none of us invented them. Issues voters. focus on that!

    February 22, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Jenn

    Hussein OBAMA for VICE president!!

    We need actions just not words and promises...

    February 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. lila scott

    Sure.. her best lines were premade. At some point a question about her biggest emotional struggle was going to come up. We know Bill's past sexual indiscretions are a 10 ton elephant in the room. She had an answer premade for that occasion. It was nothing compared to what others have had to go through. It's a well thought out answer. She got great points for it. It makes it no less good that she had memorized the answer long ago that people helped her prepare.

    February 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Elizabeth

    Her campaign had been saying tha tthe media were bringing up the plagerism issue–not her campaign.

    Obviously, from last night-she brought it up and tried to gain from it.

    I agree that, on its merits, it is ridiculous to worry about where she got her words–I surely don't care. But I do think it is relavent in showing her hypocracy and arrogance on this matter.

    Who would ever have the audacity to nitpick a candidates speech to see if he used words that others used? How often do we read here about Hillary supporters saying she will be ready from day one? How often do we read from Barack supporters that we are going to unite and not divide?

    What is ridiculous is that anyone paid attention when her campaign started talking about it in the first place.

    IMO it is absolutely relevant in showing her hypocracy.

    Now, let's all move on!

    February 22, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Zach

    CNN is screening comments which are in favor of Senator Clinton. Comments in favor of Obama appear instantly while those in favor of Clinton are put on hold and vanish. I know this as a fact because I had my friend write exactly the same thing but in favor of Obama.

    February 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Tara

    Hey does anybody know more about Senator Clinton's attendance at the opening of the Center for the Intrepid? She mentioned at the end having seen the wounded soldiers walk up the red carpet, but someone from Texas told me that Senator Clinton was not there for that part of the ceremony.
    Any help?

    February 22, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. kathleen, illinois

    Bill, now what are you going to do? Second honeymoon, Maybe?

    February 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Aimee Black

    Big whoop.. You are really searching now.

    February 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. lila scott

    It's only an issue of authenticity because Hillary has been harping about Obama's couple lines for a week.

    February 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. Eli

    It's "silly season" for Obama now as well.

    February 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. just joe

    All of this nonsense begs the question.......what on Obama's resume gives him the idea that he is prepared to be President, other than he happens to be an American citizen. This guy is over his head....whether he uses his words, or those of others. He appears somewhat petulant if someone disagrees with something he has said or done. Gotta grow up, Barack.......go live a little in the real world.

    February 22, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  21. kathleen, illinois

    Hear ye, hear ye, all Texans.......................................

    February 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. lila scott

    Obama has Austin Tx locked. He will here.

    February 22, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. adam

    this is rediculous. of course a husband and wife are going to share similar ideas. to attack them for it is rediculous because they didnt even use the same words

    same with the john edwards speach. democrats are going to say similar things, but they werent even said in the same words. this is bogus claim.

    February 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Sig, Los Angeles CA

    The media made the correlation between Hillary's closing comments to Edwards immediately after the dedate, so it doesn't matter whether or not the Obama camp jumped on this. Hillary's comments about using your "own words" but used a speech writer's "Xerox" comment made her look like an oxymoron. She only has herself to blame for the hubbub now and a poorly run campagin.

    Obama '08

    February 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Delano King

    One of the main causes for the Clinton’s campaign problem is the News Media. Every news channel I turn to has nothing good to say about Hilary Clinton which I believe is wrong, stupid, and ignorance. The News Media is one sided and you all are not helping the future generations of this nation because the true is hiding, and lies are told to flatter people.

    In your own sense, what comparison Obama and Hilary Clinton have in common when it come’s to becoming the next president of this nation? The accomplishments Hilary Clinton has accomplished in and around the world is enough to make her the next president of the United States if only the News Media can focus on such and educate the voters.

    What accomplishments Obama have? How can he be running for the highest post in the nation when he stealing other people words to impress voters? Yes he’s a grate speaker who steals words to flatter his voters, and I believe, he will steal Ben Laden words to address the American People when he ever becomes elected.

    Such criminal behavior symbolize that Obama is not a leader but a follower. A leader speaks from his heart using his own words, knowing he will implement what ever he says and that leader is Hilary Clinton. Educate the public on the significant issues and stop being one sided.

    Shame on Obama, Shame on the News Media, the worst of all CNN!

    February 22, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16